Interview with Lakshmi Baskaran – VP Engineering


We are so excited to welcome Lakshmi Baskaran as SEDNA’s new VP of Engineering! Lakshmi is a seasoned tech leader, who has spent her career building high performing engineering teams at Fortune 500 companies and global startups. We sat down with Lakshmi to learn more about her career path, what excites her about her new role, and her favourite productivity hacks.

What is your role at SEDNA?

As the VP of Engineering at SEDNA, I lead a team of world-class engineers who are passionate about building the future of fast and reliable enterprise communication. Our engineers at SEDNA are obsessed with making the world more productive by enabling complex organizations to transact and communicate through emails more efficiently. While our engineers are heads down building the global platform, I ensure that I do everything in my power to remove roadblocks and support them to build products with speed and finesse.

I truly cherish this opportunity due to the influence I have on building a global organization.

Which aspects of the job are you most excited about?

SEDNA is ahead of many of its direct and indirect competitors on its product evolution strategy. In order to continue growing and succeeding as a business, we need to ensure that Product and Engineering are closely aligned. My success in the role will be determined by how I bring alignment and purpose between Product and Engineering.

Our purpose of existence is to multiply our customers’ productivity in their day to day operations. In order to help our customers achieve that level of productivity, we need to adopt the right systems, processes and tools to build and deliver at a speed that no organization has ever done.

What was your experience before SEDNA and what led you to this career?

I have been very fortunate to be exposed to the right things at the right time. After I graduated with a Masters in Computer Engineering, I travelled across the globe consulting for Fortune 500 companies to automate their manufacturing and supply chain processes. I have worked with some world-class executives, who inspired me to consider navigating my career to leadership.

Little did I know that taking some time off from work for my maternity leave will sow the seeds of transition from an individual contributor to a leader. After I returned to the workforce, with the help of great mentors I was able to ascend the corporate leadership ladder that led me to what I am today.

I am very thankful for the global experience across Asia, Europe, United States, Australia, and Canada. It helped me gain an understanding and respect of working with people from different cultures and backgrounds.

Why did you decide to make SEDNA your next career choice?

Having spent the first half of my career in enterprise-level organizations, I realized the challenges of missed knowledge, communication, and transaction in emails. I saw a huge opportunity in SEDNA to solve an enterprise problem that existed for years, but remained unnoticed.

I am also a big fan of trying different productivity hacks at work and in everyday life. So naturally I was thrilled to be part of a platform and a company that aims to enable employees and corporations to save millions of dollars in communication and transaction through emails.

What excites you about the SEDNA opportunity?

When you know success is a sure shot, it’s hard to not feel excited! SEDNA has huge potential as we evolve into different domains because for most businesses, knowledge, truth, and opportunity are buried in emails. It is daunting for companies to manage complex business transactions through an outdated medium of communication. That is where SEDNA comes into play.

Thousands of businesses lose millions of dollars trying to keep teams focused on managing business deals with customers and partners. At SEDNA, we have solved that problem. When we see how our customers use SEDNA to transact millions of dollars through our platform with 100% reliability and transparency, it just boggles my mind.

What’s your go-to productivity hack?

I love using Todoist to manage my tasks. It helps me to keep focused on things that need my attention. Since I joined SEDNA, I have been using the Notes feature in SEDNA to manage tasks with my peers and teams.

At home, I am up for any productivity hack that makes cooking and cleaning a breeze.

What motivates you?

I grew up with a drive to succeed in whatever I choose to do. So naturally, the seeds of intrinsic motivation were sown early on in my life.

Having said that, my motivation dwindles from time to time. I have a network of amazing friends and mentors who I lean on, knowing that they will prime me to run faster than before.

What is your favourite way to spend your time outside of work?

My husband and I cherish the time we spend with our daughter. She is young and I am mindful of her growing fast, so any time that I get outside of work is time spent with her. Since we started working from home due to COVID 19, we have been right next to each other, but it has been interesting that I can still spend hours with my daughter sharing, talking, and reminiscing about our day.

I also enjoy reading. That’s one thing that has remained my favourite for years. I resort to books when I am happy, sad, or need time to be alone.

What is your favourite quote or piece of advice that someone has given you?

“Go search for discomfort, that’s where you are most likely to grow.”

I don’t know where I came across this, but it is so true that your growth is unstoppable when you push yourself outside of your comfort zone. We have heard this very often from successful leaders, but you realize the power of it only when you put this in action and cherish the success you achieve.

If you were to describe SEDNA in a sentence, what would it be?

“Past, present and future of communication”

The power of SEDNA is to bring you the information that you need about the past, present, and future of a transaction in a fraction of second. With SEDNA, you no longer lose track of the communication, information, or transaction that is embedded in your emails. This helps to create efficiency in teams without changing the way they work.

Want to join the team? Find out what it’s like to work at SEDNA.